Curacao: The Best Gay Destination in the Caribbean. Period

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by Steve Weinstein

Recently, the managing editor at www.noizemag, the magazine I also edit, and his partner were over for a drink. When he told me he was going on vacation and I asked where, he said, "Curacao."

"Why did you pick Curacao?" I asked, before showing my hand.

"We had done a lot of homework, and it looked like the nicest place in the Caribbean," he answered.

Then I told him about my own experiences on the island. After the trip, he called me, practically yelling into the phone about how much they loved it, the friendliness of the locals, the many sites, all of the activities -- and, not least, how comfortable they felt holding hands and showing affection in public.

We still have a long way go before we have reached acceptance in the more remote parts of the world. But with so many still hating us, it’s especially gratifying to know that there is one island paradise where you will be welcomed with open arms.

When to go: Curacao is hot during our summers, but when I was there in September, it was comfortably balmy. The island is outside of the traditional hurricane paths, so during the "R" months, there is no bad time, but the best time is probably coming up -- the dead of winter. The annual "Get Wet" weekend, the gay party weekend I attended, is lots of fun. But there’s always something going on, and the bars and clubs are uniformly gay friendly.

As with most Catholic countries (the vast majority of the population is at least nominally Roman Catholic), Carnival is a non-stop series of parties, parades and dances. Carnival starts in January and goes on until the bells of Ash Wednesday toll the beginning of Lent, which in 2012 falls on Feb. 22.

For a list of gay venues, go to the tourism website.

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).


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